From wildcats to ferocious… redwood trees? Not every college mascot is as orthodox as a lion or bear, but there’s one thing they all have in common—they’re beloved by their school.

Handsome Dan, the Bulldog
While most colleges and universities have a mascot, there are none quite as famous as Yale’s Handsome Dan—the first real-live school mascot in history. As tradition allows, the school’s athletic department works with New England breeders to select the next “Handsome Dan” (which is now up to 18). @handsomedanxviii

Oregon, the Duck
Thanks to a friendship between Walt Disney and former Athletic Director for Oregon, Leo Harris, the school now has permission to have this rendition of Donald Duck as its mascot. Like Donald, Oregon makes quite a splash on game day—showcasing his dance moves and even crowd surfing on occasion. @goducks

Bevo, the Texas Longhorn
One of the most recognizable mascots in college sports, Bevo, a Longhorn Steer (with a horn-span of more than 6-feet), has been helping University of Texas fans cheer for over 100 years. The current Bevo lives a pretty exciting life outside of his mascot duties—grazing and playing with his brothers and sisters on nearby Sunrise Ranch—which also raised his last two processors.

Albert Gator, the Alligator
Florida is known for its thriving alligator population, so it’s no wonder that the Florida Gator’s mascot, Albert, is a giant alligator. Albert also has a female companion who accompanies him to the games—Alberta—and the pair have been ranked among the top rated college mascots for many years. @albertthegator

Big Jay, the Jayhawk
This mythical bird has been around as the University of Kansas mascot since the Civil War-era, but in 1971 the school welcomed a special edition to its mascot team—a Baby Jay—who was introduced by bringing a giant egg onto the field during a homecoming game. The duo is now among the most beloved mascots in college sports. @kuathletics


For more fun history and trivia, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/blog.